081 Michael Roderick on getting people to talk about you when you’re not in the room

Michael Roderick on Sales for Nerds

Michael went from a high school english teacher to Broadway producer in 2 years, powered by a network that he not only created and nurtured, but empowered to help him.

He read Seth Godin’s book Linchpin, and realized he was part of a system for churning out factory workers. He realized he needed to pursue his Broadway dream, and “it not now, when?”

Later, he deconstructed how he’d been able to pull off this transition, and he realized it wasn’t just that he met with a lot of people– he empowered these people to talk about him (in a good way) when he wasn’t around.

He codified his learning in a set of easy to remember (and mention) frameworks. For example…

Why do people refer you? To make themselves look good. Use the S.U.R.E. framework to assist:

  • Shortcut– make it easy to process and use
  • Utility– make it useful for the person hearing it
  • Reputation– make the referrer look good
  • Expedient– make it easy to mention

Don’t think of your offering, think of the problem your ideal prospect wants to solve, and help them solve a small piece of it, like a magician showing how he does one of his tricks.

This could be an assessment or other useful, actionable piece of information. For example, Michael often talks to experts who have valuable intellectual property that they deploy on behalf of their clients, but they don’t package it the way Simon Sinek or Brené Brown did. So he says that if you know an expert who’s far more obscure than they should be, fill out the “Jargon Grid” to get ideas for packaging your ideas.

I call this a “verbal Lead Magnet that your network can deploy on your behalf”, which Michael says is right on.

To get people talking about you, follow Michael’s 3 Principles of Referability (A.I.M.):

  • Accessibility— can people understand it outside the “Echo Chamber of the Enlightened”— anchor in something someone already knows
  • Influence— will people share it without you asking— make them look good
  • Memory— make it easy to retell the story— focus on L.E.S.S.

Expanding the L.E.S.S. framework:

  • Langage— have your own way of saying things that carve out mental space for you (“venti coffee”)
  • Emotion—illicit emotion to access memory
  • Simplicity— don’t share a 27 point checklist. Keep it simple.
  • Structure— provide order to process information– short lists, quadrants, etc.

What are you going to do to get more people talking about you (in a good way) when you’re not in the room?

The Wine

Reuben enjoys Chateau Jander from Moulis-en-Medoc, Bordeaux.

Michael has a Sales for Nerds first: Whiteclaw Ruby Grapefruit.


Linchpin: Are you indispensable? by Seth Godin

Where to find Michael


Where to find Reuben

@Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com.You can also  listen on Overcast, or Subscribe on Android, or Player.fm.

Want a way to make sales and marketing fun, without being “salesy”? Try Mimiran, the CRM for elite solo consultants who love serving clients but who hate “selling”.

It tracks referrals and helps you grow and nurture your network. Plus, the “Mission and Positioning” screen will help you refine your message, and give you lots of ideas for catchy phrases that will make you more referable. Meanwhile, use Lead Magnets to help turn those referrals into leads and conversations. Get a list of 25 Consulting Lead Magnet ideas here.

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Published by

Reuben Swartz

Host and Chief Nerd.